Houston Toad-Biology

Houston toads live in deep, sandy soils with native grasses in nine counties in Central Texas. Adults migrate to ponds and wetlands to breed following rainfall from January to June, usually with a peak in March or April. Males call to attract females with a high pitched melodic trill, typically after dusk. Adults lay eggs in water, and tadpoles require about 60 days to transform into juveniles, or “toadlets.” 

Help us save the Houston toad by monitoring and restoring habitat.

Nine counties in Texas are the only place in the world Houston toads can be found. Blue areas are recovery units, areas of highest priority for its conservation.

Fun Facts


  • Houston toads are considered “explosive breeders” because most of the calling and reproduction takes place over just a few rainy days each year.
  • Houston toads are considered a “relict” population from the Pleistocene epoch. Shifting climates ~12,000 years ago, which became warmer and drier near the end of the last ice age, resulted in an “island” of suitable habitat, giving rise to their modern range.
  • Exotic sod forming grasses (bermuda and bahia grass) are detrimental to toads in part because it is harder for them to move through the thick “understory.”Native bunch grasses form gaps that allow space for toads (and other species such as quail and turkey) to move through and forage in them.
  • Houston toads lay eggs in long strings, wrapped around aquatic vegetation in shallow water.

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